A week ago last Sunday, the Fella and I dragged the last pieces of furniture to safety, packed our bags and headed to a hotel in downtown Vancouver while the floors were being refinished.
The Fella picked out a really nice place for us to stay – just as a treat after all our hard work on the house over the past two months. This meant that for a glorious day and a half, I was lucky enough to be spoiled with crisply pressed bed linen, the feel of plush carpet under my feet, a shower that felt like I was standing under a waterfall and this view - it was utterly lush.
I spent all day on Monday in our hotel room doing my course homework. Ironically, the hotel was refurbishing bedrooms in the tower opposite our room so the whole building was alive with work parties of decorators! Each time my gaze drifted across at the lovely view, I caught sight of a lot of paint roller action! Ngg, I felt for them!
Once the Floor Guy was done, we took ourselves off to Victoria (Vancouver Island) for a few days while the fumes dissipated and the varnish cured a bit. I do not have any pictures of the crossing to Victoria as it was dark but here is the view from our hotel window, plus a couple of other snaps:
Although we were not there long, I really liked what I saw in and around Victoria:
So, if you come here on holiday - relax. Victoria sports some very fine, well stocked Yarn and Fabric Establishments!
The surrounding coastal landscape felt reassuringly familiar too. We drove back up to the ferry along the coast - now while the architecture is quite different to home, it has the same sort of feel as suburban areas along the shores of South Wales (I am thinking of Southerndown and Porthcawl, specifically) and even over on the islands of Guernsey and Jersey.
I kept my hands diligently on the steering wheel so I do not have any pictures of the houses but here is a snap of the sea view that the houses enjoy. Not bad, eh? We were not certain but we thought that the land mass over in the distance was the San Juan Island, which is US territory, not a part of Canada.
On our way back to the ferry, we stopped in Sidney, lured in by the attraction of two yarn shops (which we did not find) and the Honeysuckle Weaving and Spinning Studio. Luckily, Dianne (a lovely, knowledgeable lady) happened to be in. As a result, I happened to leave with some more spinning fibre (more in a later post), a book and some extra bobbins for my wheel - very cool.Now the perfect close to our excellent trip, believe it or not, was the ferry crossing back - a world apart from the Dover-to-Calais experience. I can thoroughly recommend it. The boat between Vancouver and Victoria takes about 1.5 hours, it threads its way through the Gulf Islands and the Pacific Buffet serves up a very civilised meal for CAD$18.90 (approx £9.50). You get a wonderful view of the islands and their wildlife as you dine on your way past.
Honest, there were seals (I think) in that last picture! There, see?! Those two shadows, just under the surface, right in the centre of the frame!
The strange thing is that when the Fella and I spend time together, it rarely occurs to me to take photos of us both. However, I do have two that I would like to share with you. The Fella just before we headed off on our trip paired with a snap that I took on the ferry, on our way home.
Despite his protests that he was fine, I was very worried about how tired he looked before we went away. I am not sure that I looked much better. I suspect that our trip away was a very good, timely break for us both.
And after all that, what did we come home to? Oh y'know - just the loveliest looking floors that I have ever had the pleasure to walk on*.
Hmm, I think that I might need to follow Yarn Sprout's lead, get my hands on a copy of Interweave Knits Holiday 2008 and start knitting a truck load of those slipper socks - it would be heartbreaking to ruin these floors!
The complete set of trip photos can be seen here - in reverse! So it starts with the ferry crossing and works back towards our hotal stay in Vancouver!
* If you are thinking of refinishing your floors - please be warned.
We are one week on and there are still a lot of fumes in the house. Although it has hardened, the varnish still seems quite vulnerable. So we are camped out in one room and introducing the furniture back into the house very slowly (with copious felt protectors).
Plus, there have been casualties – I did expect some damage but in fact, all of the skirting boards (base boards) in every single room need to be repainted. Without exception, they all fell victim to the sanding machines. Not to mention that I need to repaint a couple of doors in the hallway that got sloshed with varnish!Trust me, while it has all been worth it, my heart sank when I realised that the paint tins need to come back out - I was very much hoping that all I would have to do is move the furniture back in and settle down to some serious knitting and spinning!